Who we are.
First BASE is the first project of The Barbados Association for Supported Employment (BASE) which was established in 2009 to provide meaningful employment for young persons with developmental disabilities. BASE’s objectives are to invest in activities, trades and other ventures that may provide job creation, job placement, job-training and on-going support for individuals with developmental disabilities. Social, economic or psychological support will also be given to individuals and their families.
Each year, students who have reached the age of 18 years and have acquired a level of social and economic skills graduate from special needs institutions, but are unable to independently sustain roles as workers in the open market.
Many of these young people require additional support if they are to attain economic independence. This additional support is needed as employers often do not have the skills or resources, and in some cases the physical environment, to support their employment. Some graduates are offered livelihood opportunities in the tourism sector, but much fewer opportunities are available in the small manufacturing sector.
What we do.
First BASE offers an alternative to these graduates. It started operations in 2010 at Greenwich Hall with a staff of 10 young adults (five male and five female) and two abled bodied supervisors. The facility comprises a food preparation and service area, a small laundry and a small agricultural section in a “tyre garden as the area is very rocky. In addition to preparing food items (coconut bread, cassava pone and fruit juices) and other craft items such as greeting cards, door stops, rag mats, gift tags and framed pictures. Laundry services are also provided.
How the students develop.
The mandate of First BASE is to run a commercial enterprise and continue to develop the young adults into economic independence. This will include the provision of management skills, technical supervision and the provision of counselling and support services for the young persons who are engaged. Care is taken to match the young persons’ skills to the livelihood opportunity and in some cases will immediately fit with their existing skill and/or gift.